Vintage finds and retro handmade--a sweet mix I know you'll love.

This is my blog. To visit my stores, click the Etsy or Artfire links above, or the product images on the right column of the screen.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Here's My Story...

Every blog should have a sort of "here's how I started" post, so here I go...

I got started making handmade crafts when I was pretty small.  I wanted to give Christmas gifts to everyone I knew, but, of course, I didn't have any money.  I got my ideas from my parents and relatives, who had been making Christmas gifts since they were young.  I guess it's a family tradition.

Most of those early efforts were pretty sad--after all, they were the efforts of a kid who didn't have all her front teeth--but they taught me a few important things.  For one, handmade is special.  Of course, Grandma and Grandpa really love anything their grandkids made for them, just because it came from those little hands.  Beyond that, it is special because it is unique.  In this heavily-merchandised world, it is rare to own something you know the rest of the world does not.  Next, handmade is difficult.  It may look effortless, but coming up with an idea and executing it well takes practice, skill, and lots of creativity.  Not everyone is cut out for it.  Finally, handmade is not necessarily cheaper.  If I calculated an hourly salary for time spent, and added in expenses like failed craft project materials, it would be more expensive than going to the mall.  Frankly, you make handmade because you love it.

Bellevue Binoculars, on ArtFire
I got into vintage a little later.  In fact, the debut of The Antiques Roadshow in the U.S. probably got me started.  My granddad loved that show, and was always showing off old things he'd found at estate sales, or even things like coins and old bottles he'd dug up on his property.  I found the history of an item to be about as fascinating as the thing itself.  It's rare to find something vintage with a really high dollar value, but everyone has access to beautiful things that carry along a bit of history.

I went to college and got a degree in English and a minor in Art.  My major doesn't really play heavily into my crafting exploits (although in my other career, freelance writing, it's indispensable).  Like I said, handmade takes skill.  If I took away anything from my minor, it was better design skills and eye-hand coordination.  I got high marks in college and even showed some of my work in the juried student show every year.  The main type of art I studied in college was printmaking.  If you find an inked print in one of my shops, you can be certain I made it myself with the old techniques that artisans have been using for centuries.

Well, that's enough for now, I suppose.  Be back here later.  Happy crafting!

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